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Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects (Read 18919 times)
Fireblade
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Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
01/08/12 at 20:12:36
 
I have two pairs of decent ones, but cannot really tell if they are good or not.  Bought them many years ago so I don't remember what these are. They seem to be working alright in my current system.

The RCA terminal connectors have a black Bat logo on them, and the cable has the code: ZTC 75005.  Anyone knows what these are?

Anyway, I need to learn from your experience with interconnects.  Are there any good sounding and cost-effective that you know of?  Should we get Decware's DSRII?

Honest user opinions are quite welcomed. Thanks!
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Pale Rider
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #1 - 01/08/12 at 22:02:47
 
I love the Decware ICs, but also have some of these Audioquest for longer lengths. And they don't quite have he wait time of the DSRs.

Steve has indicated they are building a shielded less expensive RG6/U, but I haven't seen it yet on the website.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Lon
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #2 - 01/09/12 at 00:03:50
 
I'll agree with Greg on both counts. I've only one analog interconnect in my main system at the moment, but it's a Decware Silver Reference and I've tried a few other brands and an earlier version or two of the Decware and I can't take it out. The all silver Audioquest Greg linked to is a very good cable, and I have used that but in comparison the Decware is clearer and more open. I've tried TARA Labs and PS Audio interconnects and those are now in a closet. There are two of the Decware cables in my second system, a half-meter to connect my DEC685 to my CSP2 and a meter to connect my CSP2 to my Torii Mk II. Their compatibility with Decware components is superb.

The one drawback I've found is that they do take time to "break in." If you believe such a thing exists. . . break in time.
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« Last Edit: 01/09/12 at 01:31:43 by Lon »  

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Fireblade
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #3 - 01/09/12 at 04:03:53
 
Pale Rider and Lon, thanks.  That link (HCM Audio) seems quite useful. At least while stock lasts. These seem very well put together and the description is quite similar to Decware's.  I suspect Decware's are probably better but I'll start with these Silver Extreme from Audioquest. Later ...
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will
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #4 - 01/09/12 at 07:24:35
 
I like Decware cables too. Also, I have gotten some really good MAC cables on Audiogon auctions very inexpensively. I got some UltraSilver ($329) for about 60. By all appearances and sound, they are made similarly to Decware, but have a slightly more solid and transparent presentation to me. I use them over my Decwares. I just looked at their site http://www.myaudiocables.com/ and it looks like they are using a new auction area. Check this one: www.proaux.com more specifically:
http://www.proaux.com/3-MAC-UltraSilver-ICs,name,3276,auction_id,auction_details...

Could possibly get a real bargain on a very good cable.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #5 - 01/09/12 at 16:52:15
 
Hey Will, thanks for those links.

I also seem to recall that Steve has mentioned another cable company, with whom he has worked, and on whom he has commented very favorably, and if I recall correctly, he was specifically positive on their power cords. Anyone recall who that was?
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Lon
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #6 - 01/09/12 at 16:56:13
 
That was MAC, or My Audio Cable, the cables that will is recommending. I've used one of their power cables. .. I wasn't too impressed. It was the Digital Sound Pipe. Didn't work for me in audio, was too thin and edgy even months and months later. . . I use it on my bedroom tv. It failed on me at one point, but MAC repaired it for free.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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Fireblade
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #7 - 01/09/12 at 18:24:35
 
Thanks to all for the good suggestions.  

I think I'm sticking with Audioquest Super Silver interconnects for now.  Best price for the specs (except for that MAC auction, which may take forever to win, and I need to place my order with the importer this week), and is $41.55 less expensive than Decware's (0.5 Mtrs).

Checked the power cords at MAC, too expensive for me.  Still looking for a better than standard, affordable one, over Volex or even Yellow Fish.

I guess you have all read those articles out there by credited people, saying all this 'cable sound' stuff is subjective and without scientific base.  Who knows?  If you guys can tell the difference, then I guess there must be one.

Same with the cable 'breaking-in' concept.  I guess the differences in sound over time must be related to the insulation materials involved.  For example, the bee wax is a natural, micro-porous, light density organic material, filled with air (great insulator).  I would expect changes there and not in the metal conductors, for example.

Anyway, I found out my current interconnects have Vampire (Black Bat Logo) RCA terminals, which are supposed to be good.  I don't know anything about the cables themselves.  

Thanks, later ...
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Pale Rider
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #8 - 01/09/12 at 18:34:45
 
Fireblade, I now there are people who can hear things I cannot. And I know there are phenomena for which we often have no explanation. I am an objectivist at heart, but as wise man once said: "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Just because we cannot prove or disprove something, does not mean that it is or isn't happening.

I used to be in that "bits is bits" camp. But a simple read of why CDs are not truly digital will teach one to be circumspect about such conclusions.

If humans can repeatedly, and reliably discern something that a machine cannot, that doesn't mean it isn't happening [though it could mean that], but it definitely means we might not know how or why. So, over time, I have come to the conclusion that quality power cords and ICs appear to contribute to the holographic sound we are trying to achieve with this equipment. Can I double-blind pick the same cables out every time? Nope. But I can discern, as my wife did just the other day: "wow, it's like an empty stage, and suddenly there is music in all the right places."

I can tell when that is happening, and my odds of getting it seem to increase with the improvements in which I have invested. Now, for me, it probably means that a $179 power cord is arguably worthwhile, while a $795 power cord might not be.

I am a big fan of chaos theory, which I succinctly summarize with a small sign on my desk that says: "Everything matters." Some of it may matter more than others, but it all contributes to the outcome.

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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Fireblade
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #9 - 01/09/12 at 19:07:09
 
Absolutely, and well put, Pale Rider.  I'm eclectic myself, and like I meant earlier, if people can tell the difference, something's going on, even if we don't have an explanation, yet.

I also agree with your implied diminishing returns appraisal.  There seems to be a marketplace threshold at around $150.00, for all kinds of interconnect and speaker cables, after which clear benefits should be less tangible.

In my view, power cords do not belong to this level of sensitivity, though.  If the power source is clean enough, a good conductor, with good insulation and proper assembly of quality materials should do fine for the money. That's just my opinion.

BTW, I misnamed the IRON LUNG JELLYFISH POWER CORDS earlier by calling them Yellow Fish power cords ...   I guess it remainded me of my sea fishing adventures back in time ...  Sorry!

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will
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #10 - 01/09/12 at 19:33:34
 
Greg, Can you recall the MAC thing Steve spoke of. I looked around and could not find it, but if memory serves I believe he was working with MAC on Decware power cords early on? Maybe still is??? Hmmmm. Can't say for sure.

Anyway, the Ultra Silver is a great IC. I got onto them quite a while ago since I needed more ICs, wanted more options, and they were very inexpensive at auction. If you like the Decware IC, I would be surprised if you did not like the UltraSilver. I just did a direct comparison, and they are very similar in look, feel and sound though the MAC have Neutric RCAs and my Decwares have simple silver RCAs. With the Tranquility DAC, I would say the MAC sounds like the Decwre IC, but with everything a little more smooth, solid and defined top to bottom, including body and a touch more warmth without detail masking. Also better black.

Fireblade, MAC makes a lot of different cord configurations for each use and had I not gotten onto their auctions, I may not have any of them either. I have a pair of Braided Silver ICs that are the only thing I consistently like between the ZDAC and ZSTAGE to date. They sound very accurate and defined, no wishy washiness, which for me completed the synergistic thing between these components in my setup. But for a primary interconnect The MAC Ultra Silver has brilliant definition, but also a very convincing, "not-cable" feel. To me it does not have a sound...but I might call it defined, nuanced, smooth and musical. Nothing sticks out.

I have a MAC HC power cord, and it gets out of the way pretty well, but I would not call it a favorite. It works really well in my modded Oppo though and brought out noted improvements over the stock and over a VH-Audio cable I DIYd. More flow, definition and palpability. A no Brainer for the 50 bucks at auction. And the VH cable sounds great in the ZSTAGE.

Have you checked out the Shunyata cords. Their least expensive Venom 3 has gotten good press and it has temped me to try it, but I have not. May be worth looking at if you get to wanting to dip your toe in the power cord waters. http://www.musicdirect.com/p-9670-shunyata-venom-3-power-cable.aspx

It always interests me the vocal dudes who so adamantly say a cable is a cable or whatever is a whatever. There is no clear explanation for this to me, but I guess it has to be there system, room, or bodies somehow truncating the sound. If you can't hear the difference, then there is no need to go into it, but if you can, I have found that every cable I have notably improves the stock stuff, and a variety of decent cables is quite useful for fine-tuning component synergy.

I agree entirely with Greg's thoughts on this. Science is only trying to figure out reality anyway, but always through the filters of the scientist doing the work (which very rarely comes without personal bias and "baggage") and from within the limitations of the time, effort and technology. Actually, I seem to hear everything...which is sometimes a bit of a curse. But I love the quest for experiential reality. As with power cords, ICs and tube amps, reality is a vast matrix of unified complexity, and if science could read it in its most minute detail, and with the unification factors of the billions of details that make music, it could describe what we hear. But with good gear and a good room, the simple experience gives us all the wonders of all this input.

I wonder, why bother with the science unless it is truly and purely used in a quest for a better and healthier relationship to life. This is why I don't get the naysayers who have for some reason denied what they hear, or can't hear what others can hear.
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« Last Edit: 01/09/12 at 21:15:06 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Lon
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #11 - 01/09/12 at 20:08:17
 
will, look here for the My Audio Cable mention:

http://www.decware.com/paper70.htm
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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will
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #12 - 01/09/12 at 20:20:16
 
Fireblade, sorry we crossed on our responses, so I responded before your last post.

Thanks Lon. That was where we read that Steve was working with MAC. I wonder if my MAC HC power cord is similar to the Decware one. They say it is 10 gauge plated copper. No matter, it works for my use and I don't have a Decware cable to compare.
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« Last Edit: 01/09/12 at 20:25:42 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Pale Rider
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #13 - 01/09/12 at 20:33:27
 
Good info. One thing I like about the MAC power cord is they make a 5-footer. That is almost exactly what I need for my Oppo and my PerfectWave DAC, both of which sit at the top of my ZRACKS, while my PowerPlants sit at the bottom.

Shunyata's Venom is 1.5 meter, almost the same. Interestingly, they make an extension cord as well.
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will
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Re: Affordable, cost-effective RCA interconnects
Reply #14 - 01/09/12 at 21:02:44
 
I recall that MAC HC cable taking a long time to burnin. I even put it on the refrigerator for a week or so and then on my tower computer with and IEC adapter, and still......I wish these guys would cook them! If you get a Shunyata, pleas let us know your impressions!
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« Last Edit: 01/09/12 at 21:05:06 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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